Grew up… around drugs. Augustus made his living from selling drugs, and found his life’s purpose in doing drugs. Unfortunately, it all unraveled when he shot and killed a SWAT team officer, landing him a life sentence (up for parole in 20 years) in Oz. It also landed him on the ground, literally, when another SWAT officer tossed Augustus off a roof right after Augustus shot his colleague. Augustus’ life would never be the same.
Living… without the use of his legs. Augustus is the only paraplegic in Oswald State Penitentiary. Augustus is at peace with his condition – caused by that roof-tossing the night he killed the police officer – and with the lifestyle that led him to his long sentence in Oz. As he puts it, “A measure of a man is not where he lives, but how.”
Profession… prison inmate. Augustus does not have any allegiances in Oz. He is not a member of any gang, nor does he have any particular enemies (or friends, it seems). In Oz, he has come to play the role of a philosopher. He has accumulated a lot of wisdom for a man of his relatively young age and enjoys sharing it.
Interests... with so much time on his hands, Augustus has developed an interest in the arts that surprises even him. He was impressed by the cello-playing of a fellow inmate, and even arranged for another inmate who plays the trumpet to join the cello-player in rehearsals. But it’s hard to pull off that sort of thing behind bars.
Relationship Status… married. Augustus was with his wife the night that he was arrested. Augustus, despite his inability to feel anything below the belt, prides himself on still being able to please his woman when she comes for a conjugal visit.
Challenge… surviving in Oz without making any allies. “Life in Oz sucks,” he says, “and only a fool or a Republican will tell you different.” But Augustus, unlike some of his fellow inmates, does not want to try and change the system. He accepts it for what it is.
Personality… wise, kind, and peaceful. Augustus tries his best to keep his fellow prisoners relatively non-violent, but he knows that his actions are likely ultimately futile. Oz is not the only prison with serious problems. Augustus knows that there are systemic evils involved: “So what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom? What makes us so different? We’re the only species who put our own kind in cages.”
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